You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Fractal Species Distributions Do Not Produce Power-Law Species-Area Relationships
Jack J. Lennon, William E. Kunin and Stephen Hartley
Vol. 97, No. 3 (Jun., 2002), pp. 378-386
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3547659
Page Count: 9
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
We derive the species-area relationship (SAR) expected from an assemblage of fractally distributed species. If species have truly fractal spatial distributions with different fractal dimensions, we show that the expected SAR is not the classical power-law function, as suggested recently in the literature. This analytically derived SAR has a distinctive shape that is not commonly observed in nature: upward-accelerating richness with increasing area (when plotted on log-log axes). This suggests that, in reality, most species depart from true fractal spatial structure. We demonstrate the fitting of a fractal SAR using two plant assemblages (Alaskan trees and British grasses). We show that in both cases, when modelled as fractal patterns, the modelled SAR departs from the observed SAR in the same way, in accord with the theory developed here. The challenge is to identify how species depart from fractality, either individually or within assemblages, and more importantly to suggest reasons why species distributions are not self-similar and what, if anything, this can tell us about the spatial processes involved in their generation.
Oikos © 2002 Nordic Society Oikos